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Second Appeal Summary
PA ID# 111-65042; City of San Buenaventura
DSR ID# 92973; Pre-existing Conditions
B>Citation: Appeal Brief; Second Appeal; City of San Buenaventura; FEMA-1046-DR-CA; PA#111-65042
Cross-Reference: DSR 92973; Debris Removal; Category A
Summary: Following the winter storms of 1995, FEMA prepared damage survey report (DSR) 92973 for $177,745, as category "A" debris removal from the Ventura River shoreline. Upon review, FEMA reduced the DSR to $0 for the following reasons: 1) the debris was pre-existing, 2) the debris posed no immediate threat, and 3) the contracting procedures were not in accordance with Title 44 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section 13.36. The State forwarded the first appeal on June 13, 1996, and concurred with FEMA's eligibility determinations in the DSR. The basis of the first appeal was that the debris was not pre-existing, that it posed an immediate threat, and that the City did follow correct procurement procedures. The Regional Director determined that the debris from the homeless shelters within the river bottom area (an area not maintained by the City) was pre-existing. Therefore, the debris did not pose more of an immediate threat in the post-disaster condition than in the pre-disaster condition and emergency removal of the debris was not necessary to eliminate immediate threat to life, public health and safety. The Regional Director also determined that contracting procedures were not in accordance with 44 CFR 13.36 and denied the first appeal. The State submitted the second appeal on June 9, 1997. The basis of the appeal is that the emergency removal of the debris was necessary to eliminate immediate threat to life, public health and safety. Further, to demonstrate the threat to public health and safety, the City contends that the debris impacted four irrigation wells located within the Ventura River. The applicant has not provided any documentation to substantiate this contention.
Issue: Were the pre- and post-disaster conditions of the area the same?
Finding: Yes. The City did not maintain the area prior to the disaster. Because the debris was pre-existing, there were no changes in the pre- and post-conditions of the area and emergency debris removal was not necessary to eliminate an immediate threat.
Rationale: The City did not provide appropriate information to demonstrate that the pre- and post-disaster conditions of the area were not the same. Emergency removal of the debris was not necessary to eliminate an immediate threat to life, public health and safety, pursuant to 44 CFR 206.224 (a)(1).